My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, September 8, 2002

The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

>> 2002 Wilder

Sherlock Gomes' swimming lesson was going swimmingly as Dr. Laurie Tang balanced him on her out-stretched arms and glided around the shallow end so he could just feel the water." But then he took an accidental gulp of water, choked, came up splashing and sputtering.

"I can fix that," Laurie said, pressed a palm against his chest, another against the back of his head and demonstrated a form of mouth-to-mouth not recognized by the AMA.

Sure enough, Gomes stopped choking, but the mouth-to-mouth continued, the doctor and the detective giving in to the passion they'd each felt since their first meeting. But on a nearby deck chair her pager went off, then his. And suddenly the night was filled with sirens approaching the Queen's ER. "I think I'm going back to work," she whispered into his chest, arms around his neck.

"Me too," he whispered back. "Something big happened out there."

>> Waikiki

In the crowd drawn by sirens and flashing lights to the tragic scene at Kuhio and Seaside was Herk Ward, a visitor from Muskogee, Okla. "What the hay-yuck happened here?" he said.

He got the scoop as News@10 reporter Mina Minimoto did a stand-up report. A Filipino Muslim's suicide bomb exploded, killing himself and nine other people, injuring many more.

"Filipino Muslim?" the Oklahoman said to nobody in particular. "Didn't rightly know they had such a thing."

>> 2002 Wilder

Something was different, Sherlock Gomes noticed the moment he and Dr. Laurie Tang began to disentangle from their second kiss of the evening.

The curtains had been pulled to the edges of the sliding screen door leading to the lanai. Earlier, the curtains had been pulled wide to reveal the colors of sunset through the glass. Now the curtains were pulled so that the glass was covered.

That could mean several things. An automatic timing device that closed the curtains? Blown shut by the wind? Or ... someone who didn't want to be detected in reflection?

"Laurie," Gomes said, touching her arm.

She'd never heard her name said that way, husky and urgent. She liked it, and pulled him close. But when Gomes whispered in her ear, it wasn't sweet nothings she heard. It was a plan involving the holstered silver pistol that hung from his shoulder, and a script for what she must say and do.

>> Makiki Heights

Machiavelli Wang was brilliant, he had to admit it. The story he'd just concocted would get Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka back in the race for governor, assuming, of course, that Salvatore Innuendo took care of Sherlock Gomes.

Here it was: The senator didn't go AWOL, he was detained against his will by a group of native Hawaiian terrorists.

The senator was asked to get into a van, blind-folded and driven around until they arrived at a cabin surrounded by banana trees. For three days they "educated" the senator, often threatening to kill him. That they let him go spoke volumes about his statesmanship.

>> 2002 Wilder

Laurie knew Sherlock's plan was designed to do one thing above all, get her away from a potential intruder. She also knew he was putting himself in the line of fire. She didn't like the plan, but in the heat of the moment could think of no other.

"Here we go," he whispered, kissed her cheek, stepped back.

Gomes pulled the silver Glock 9mm short-barrel from its holster, and following their script said in a resigned voice, "OK, Laurie, all those sirens are calling your name. I'd better let you get changed."

"I'd rather stay, but.... Wait! Oh no, I left my cell phone upstairs at the pool!"

"Tell you what, you're needed in the ER. I'll go up for the phone while you get changed."

"You're such a gentleman. Thank you."

Crouched around the corner that led to a guest bathroom and the master bedroom, Salvatore had to make a decision. Shoot the detective and doctor in the foyer? If he missed, his shots would penetrate the door, set off alarms or alert the neighbors. Better that he wait, take her alone, then get Gomes.

Laurie glanced back as she opened the door, saw Sherlock with his pistol drawn covering her escape. When the door shut, Laurie walked quickly to the elevator to call HPD dispatch. She punched in the number Sherlock had given her and went over his instructions of what she was to say.

Gomes took two quick, silent steps into the kitchen. Nothing there. A half-wall divided the kitchen from the living area. From here Gomes could see the entire living and dining area, but not what was around the corner leading to Laurie's bedroom.

Enough silence. Time to make it sound as if Laurie really was here. He opened and shut a cabinet door, then turned on the water in the kitchen sink.

>> Salvatore backed into the darkened entrance of the visitor's bathroom. As the doctor passed and turned down the hall to her master bedroom, he'd force her to her own bathroom, shoot her in the shower. Then wait for Gomes.

But what was that? A kitchen cabinet banged shut. And water splashed. Outside sirens called the doctor back to Queen's and she was going to wash dishes? Unbelievable! He did not have time to wait for her to finish the dishes. The doc would have to die in her kitchen.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at

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